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Tech Talk Radio Shows 2007 - Past Shows

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Below you'll find all of our previous shows.
Please be aware that shows will be available for download the day after live transmission.

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Two hour show files are 100 to 300mb downloads. Files are 128kbs MP3s or 320kbs and are available for download early Tuesday. The length of these vary, but are about 2 hours. The contain music played between breaks without station id's so they can be run on stations wanting a 2 hour format.
 
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Be sure to visit the Tech Talk Rado mobi site for light weight (small) files of the whole show
 
Looking for 2006 shows? Visit the 2006 download page.

Episode 50/2007 - TX: December 10th 2007 (Ep 158)
Pod


Well this is it, our last show before the holidays, but don't worry, we'll be back in February 08 for more of the same. And we're not leaving you empty handed - there's a great extended mix summer series which has all the bits of the interviews we've had recently.

elf yourself
Tonight's website - elf yourself! It's a must see for Christmas!

We’ll we’ve reached the end of 2007 and hasn’t it just flown.  Lot’s of exciting things have happened in the past year, what with the changing of the guard politically, the Telstra shenanigans, the launce of Naked DSL (at last) and for the computer buffs, the release of Microsoft’s Vista and Apple’s Leopard and not to forget the infamous iPhone, to name just a few. There have been more toys and gadgets thrown at us this year, than any time I can remember, and if you’re into the gadgets, or more importantly you have a partner who understands your passion, it shouldn’t be too hard for him or her to find something for your Christmas stocking later this month.

SOlWe’re going to round out the year with some invaluable information about website design and take a look at the harsh reality for Telstra and the newly elected Labor government. Last week, it became official – Telstra had been found to be misleading when it came to claims surrounding its NextG mobile data network. As Adam turner would say – “No! - Say it isn’t true” This will most likely put Telstra on the back foot leading into 2008 and make the prospect of high speed broadband for this country just that little bit more distant. How much more of this do we, the consumers have to put up? Somehow, I think 2008 will be more swings and round-a-bouts for broadband in this country.

Did I mention web design? How important is a good looking site these days. The answer is very! Did you know that 75% of web users admit making judgments about the credibility of an organisation based on the design of its website and 83% of businesses use the internet to search and find potential vendors?  If that doesn’t surprise you, then count yourself amongst 75% of web users. On our final show this year, we’re going to talk to Lance Loveday and Sandra Niehaus, authors of a new book, Web Design for ROI, or return of investment. Based in Sacramento California, Lance and Sandra walk us through the right things and wrong things to do, when building that perfect website. Whether you’re a CEO of a large corporation, or just rebuilding the website for the local footy club, this is must listen radio. Check out the web design for ROI website for more info!
  

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Adam Turner plans to jump off the SS Microsoft in quest of greener pastures
  • The Federal court rules Telstra lied about NextG
  • The gloves are off with Kevin and Sol
  • Three drops it’s broadband pants inline with Optus and Vodafone and
  • Google and Tom Tom team up together.


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Episode 49/2007 - TX: December 3rd 2007 (Ep 157)
Pod


We’ve heard it all before. The carrot has been dangled on many occasions, but what of the reality of Video on demand in Australia.

ABC VOD

For those unlucky enough to be a Telstra broadband customer, Video downloads are possible via there bigpond movies portal, and considering it’s been operating since February 2006, it must stand half a chance. Touted as a free download to bigpond customers, these films have a nasty habit of self destructing.

Rather than "buying to keep", users of the service will be able to rent content on either an overnight or weekly basis (much like a traditional rental stores). The timer counts down from when playback first begins, and users have a maximum of 30 days to watch all TV content and some older movies, while new release movies must be watched within seven days. The only exceptions to the aforementioned rules are music videos, which can be kept indefinitely by the user and have no expiry period.

So what of Reeltime, Quickflix, ICETV and Anytime, just some of the names being bounced around at the moment? And don’t forget Joost, and other off shore organisations already up and running in bandwidth rich countries.

Australian’s are notorious when it comes to the downloading and sharing of Movies and TV shows. It’s an emerging trend spawned by the lack of foresight by tv company executives. Instead  of dishing up such delicacies as soon as they are released in the US market, views are often starved of the favorite sitcoms and telemovies for weeks if not months at a time. And these programs are offered up as a smorgasbord of bit torrent links, it’s overwhelmingly and irresistibly tempting to click the link to salvation.

OK, so we’ve all downloaded a movie from the net - Naughty Naughty - but who hasn’t. Doesn’t the level of demand for instant – just click the link video, tell the providers of such content to lift their game? Well cue the arrival, or should that be pending arrival of Video on demand services in Australia.

Kevin Rudd, Australia’s prime minister elect, has a big job on his hands to woo the sleeping giant Telstra into rolling over and becoming submissive to a fibre to the node broadband network – the key to the delivery of rich media content to the homes of all Australian’s.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Adam Turner looks at the new mobile broadband plans
  • Google unveils mobile GPS
  • New Zealand man behind global botnet ands
  • Australian encourage online fraud.
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Episode 48/2007 - TX: November 26th 2007 (Ep 156)
Pod


For the first time in more than 11 years Australians are waking up to a changed political landscape, with Labor readying itself to take power.

Kevin RuddKevin Rudd swept aside the Prime Ministership of John Howard with a stunning victory, turning a 16-seat deficit into a majority of about 22 seats, depending on the final outcomes in a handful of electorates. We’ll now see a changing of the guard in the communications portfolio with Stephen Conroy set to take up where Helen Coonan left off.

It’s time to see how Labor has woo-ed Telstra. There seemed to be no love lost between the outgoing Liberal government and Telstra, so now its time to see if the Rudd Government lives up to its election promises. Nearly 8 months ago on March 23 2007, Kevin Rudd released his broadband plan. He said Labor are proposing to invest up to $4.7 billion in this proposal in a partnership with the private sector for it to be constructed over a five year period which will deliver for 98 per cent of Australians, a broadband service which is up to 40 times faster than they currently enjoy. The funding for this undertaking is to come from the future fund, the public services superannuation fund.

Kevin Rudd: “If I look out into the future and I look to the needs of the 21st Century economy, they lie very much with the development of a national broadband network. Therefore we, being the party of the future, will grasp that vision and we'll go forward.

Will there be resistance on the way through? Of course, that's the nature of any democratic political party. We had a robust debate today in the last couple of hours in the Caucus.

But we believe this is the right course of action for the country, we believe the Government has failed to act in this area for some years now, and small business, and business in general, and the community more broadly, and regional and rural Australia has suffered as a result.

Well Kevin, Governments don’t win elections, incumbents loose them. The Australian people have entrusted you to take them into the future, to fulfill the promises you made, and to build a state of the art, future proof, high speed broadband network for all Australians. Kevin, we’re watching.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Adam Turner joins us live for our post election wrap
  • CBA tests mobile e-payment system
  • Bluray closing the format gap
  • The Internet could face meltdown by 2010 and
  • Copper theft is on the rise again.


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Episode 47/2007 - TX: November 19th 2007 (Ep 155)
Pod


Howard and CoonanAs Australia heads to the polls this weekend we take an indepth look at what both sides are promising. Google Search with David Baily form Google at Mountain View, and Sype comes to the mobile.

As we start the downhill run to the finish line of the 2007 federal election, we thought it high time to take a look at the communications policies of both the Labor and Liberal parties.

This coming weekend is an opportunity for all Australians to have a say in the way the country is run, and up there with climate change, the economy and  work choices one of the most important issues which will affect everyone for many years to come, the roll out of the next generation of communications infrastructure.

Rudd and ConroyIn recent times there has been much pushing and shoving in the broadband arena, involving the federal government, Telstra, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and various other telco's in one form of another. Who we vote for this weekend will affect our technological evolution in the long term. Internet bandwidth and its subsequent delivery the two major issues facing us.

Both sides of politics have a plan to achieve this, Telstra has a belief that it has the right to roll out the technology, and the ACCC is doing what it thinks is best for the consumer. One thing is for sure, - it’s going to cost a lot of money. Like the telephone revolutionized the country last century, high speed broadband will do the same this century. The key to a successful roll out is provisioning for future growth. Right now 20 to 50 Mb per second sounds a lot, but in a few years time, we’ll need 20 to 50 Gb per second, and that sort of expansion and headroom needs to be though about now. Digging holes in the ground and running fibre optic cable is not cheap, so we don’t want to be in the same position again a few years down the track.

So as we embrace high speed broadband technology, regardless of which side of politics we support,  a change is coming – how revitalizing the storm will be is up to us this Saturday.

David BaileyWe hear from David Bailey who is a member of the search team at Google.

David calls Mountain View home, and Lidija Davis caught up with him in building 43 at the Googleplex. Pictured here David is under Space Ship One acquired from the Smithsonian, which was the source of some speculation last year. David is an engineer at Google where he leads the company's Universal Search effort.  Prior to that he led various search, navigation and information extraction projects at Amazon.com and Junglee.  David holds a Ph.D. in computer science from U.C. Berkeley, where he studied child language acquisition.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Lidija Davis talks search with David Bailey from Google
  • Coonan and Conroy speak on the record
  • Google launches a software competition and
  • 3’s free Skype mobile calls go live.


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Episode 46/2007 - TX: November 12th 2007 (Ep 154)
Pod


Sol TrujilloIt was’t so long ago that we were all agasp and our jaws hit the floor about the 11 million dollars that Telstra CEO Sol Trujillo pocketed as part of his annual Salary and Bonus package. It was equated to the Prime Ministers salary of around $380,000. Well now, showing absolute contempt for the companies shareholders, Trujillo’s salary will edge close to or if not exceed $20 million.

Telstra shareholders delivered what amounted to a resounding vote of no confidence in their Board of Directors at the companies Annual General Meeting in Sydney last week. Two-thirds of shareholders voted against the company's remuneration report. That's the one which includes hefty pay and perks rises for the chief executive Sol Trujillo.

Among those who took offence at the size and structure of Mr. Trujillo's salary package was the Future Fund, the country's biggest investor, which owns 16.5 per cent of Telstra. But the vote was non-binding and so Telstra plans to do nothing at all to change the way that it rewards its executives. Not bad for a company who blatantly goes around saying what it’s doing, or in most cases not doing, is in the interest of the shareholders. And given the Future Fund owns 16.5 per cent of the company, you would think its opinion might count for something. – Obviously not.

In July 2005, when Sol Trujillo came to Australia from the US and brought his friends to run Australia’s largest technology company, Telstra shares were at $5.06, they're now around $4.80. Now that's pretty simple arithmetic and for shareholders they're simply saying, he gets paid $11.8-million dollars last year, and now we're looking at a salary that would be in excess of $20-million dollars. They can't see any justification for it.

Hugh Williams - MicrosoftThis week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Lidija Davis talks search with Tim Mayer from Yahoo in the US
  • Google lets an android on the loose
  • The telecommunications ombudsman receives record complaints
  • The battle for the broadband vote heats up and
  • Australia sees a surge in domain names.




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Episode 45/2007 - TX: November 5th 2007 (Ep 153)
Pod


Hugh Williams - MicrosoftHugh Williams is Principal Development Manager of Microsoft's Live search based in Redmond USA. He talks openly about the new features and facilities of live.com

Hugh is a Melbournian, born and bred in this part of the world, he was a student and an associate professor in Information Retrieval at RMIT.

Check out Hugh's handy work at live.com

The coming federal election is going to be one of the most defining elections in our history. Not because of the party policies, but because of the technology now available to political parties, broadcasters, analysts and us!

The online world has certainly been well and truly embraced by all concerned. Australia's government broadcaster, the ABC, is no exception. The Election 2007 website showcases the best mash up yet for Google maps. Aunty has gone to great pains to build an interactive overlay of every electoral boundary which reveals seat details with a mouse over.

happy 150
Not to rest on their laurels, the ABC has also provided an SMS service where users can subscribe to a news service keeping them up-to-date with all the antics by politicians far and wide. Their website states:

The ABC Mobile Election News application provides up-to-the-minute coverage of the 2007 Federal election straight from the ABC News room to your mobile, no matter which provider you're using. During the campaign receive news, election-related and general, opinion and comment on national issues as well as two-day national weather forecasts, searchable by post code or town. There's also an electorate search by post code or town, with a short description of every electorate; on election night get updates of the count in any electorate at any time.

Now you may not be an election junkie, but this is real 'WOW' technology. Never before have we had so much information at our fingertips. If nothing else, appreciate the effort these organisations go to in the online era even if you don't give to hoots for any of the parties contesting this poll.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Lidija Davis talks search
  • Apple stealthfully launches a new notebook
  • The skypephone is launched in Australia
  • Telstra launches it’s own political website and
  • Adam Turner turns his attention to bandwidth hungry mobile applications.




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Episode 44/2007 - TX: October 29th 2007 (Ep 152)
Pod
Tonight we’re going to talk about blogging. Over time, we’ve all heard good things and not so good things about blogs. A Blog is short for "Web log," a specialized site that allows an individual or group of individuals to share a running log of events and personal insights with an online audience.
Google Bloggers
Blogs with political or current-events themes have grown in popularity and become "soap boxes" for instant mass-audience commentary. You could even consider sites like youtube as blog sites albeit with a video nature. Adam Turner recently spoke on Tech Talk Radio about the grey line between a blog, and a journalistic or editorial piece, and asked the question should journalists blog? Journalistic pieces should be free of bias and a balanced reporting of a event or situation, where as a Blog is considered personal and contains opinions. As you can see, it’s quite easy to mistake a blog for an editorial piece if it’s written by a journalist.

JamesBut what of blogs in business? More and more businesses are seeing the advantages of blogging. Not only does it give the author the ability to communicate with his or her online audience, it can also aid in driving traffic to a website. 

Today on Tech Talk Radio, James Farmer joins us live in the studio to talk about blogs, and in particular Wordpress and WordCamp. James is an expert in the design and development of social websites. Wordpress is one of the world’s largest free blogging sites where anyone and everyone can sign up for a free blog in a matter of minutes. But then what? Well wordcamp can help you get the most from your blog, from fun and games to making money and James will tell us more.   


This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Lidija Davis talks wordpress for dummies
  • Adobe Fixes PDF bug
  • Coonan trumpets United Nations Wimax decision
  • Skype and 000 don’t see eye to eye and
  • Microsoft buys a $240m share in facebook




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Episode 43/2007 - TX: October 22nd 2007 (Ep 151)
Pod

Howard CoonanAs the current federal government moves into a caretaker role in the lead up to this years federal election, one has to ask what’s going to happen now with the most important technological change this country has seen since the roll out of the telephone?
While the chaser boys target John and Kevin, we thought we should turn our attention to Helen and Stephen.

But firstly, Telstra have become quite noticeable by their absence. In an out of character act of supposedly good will, Telstra voluntarily turned on ADSL broadband in 200 exchanges that previously had none. One journalist even reported that “Telstra had started flipping switches rather than flipping the bird” Maybe this is an act of reconciliation with the Honorable Senator  Helen Coonan after taking her to the Federal Court accusing her of handing OPEL a contract to provide broadband in the bush in a somewhat dubious circumstances.

Now Stephen Conroy, the shadow communications minister, has come out to deposition the governments deal with OPEL saying that it’s fundamentally flawed and only fulfills half the coverage of that promised. He says The Opel broadband scheme has so many black spots; it looks like Swiss cheese and that the Howard Government's broadband plan is based on lies and the minister for communications should come clean."  He promised to release maps "showing the entire Federal Government network - known as Opel - is a complete sham.

Phil BurgesMmmm. Now if I didn’t know any better I would have sworn those words would be spoken by none other than the out spoken Phil Burges or even by the top man himself Sol Trujillo.

So who’s courting who? Have Helen and Sol buried the hatchet? Or is it all over, and is Stephen now the new toy boy? We’ll find out in four weeks I guess.

And then there’s the CDMA switch off.  Helen Coonan handed the ‘Yes you can / No you can’t” baton to Philip Rudd, Australia’s Attorney General. One can only speculate why? Was it the fact that she’s just had enough crap from Telstra and just wanted to share the love?  Last week Telstra announced in a 5pm press release that both Next G and CDMA were identical, and all future network development would only enhance the next G experience. It’s now up to ACMA, the Australian Communications and Media Authority to pass judgment.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Apple finally lets the leopard out of the cage
  • Microsoft links phone and video to Office
  • VOIP and 000 not talking
  • Votes for sale on eBay
  • Channel 7 treats HD viewers with contempt and
  • Apple to open iPhone up for Developers

Website of the week: Videohelp.com


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Episode 42/2007 - TX: October 15th 2007 (Ep 150)
Pod

iPhoneToday we’ve passed the milestone of 150  shows. Since November 29 2004, hopefully we’ve managed to enlighten and educate listeners in the wonderful world of gadgets, internet, and telecommunications. Throw into this mix guests who are experts in their respective fields including law enforcement, toll ways, mobile communications, broadcasting and software development, Tech Talk Radio continues to grow and earn the respect of listeners and industry elders as an independent tech talk show.

There have been many highlights along the way and we’ve had the privilege of speaking to many movers and shakers within our industry. Today the network of radio stations that take Tech Talk Radio continues to grow both here in Australia and overseas.
 The number of global listeners thanks to the technology of podcasting and streaming, is also on the rise. 

One of the best things about making the show is hearing from like minded listeners. Tech Talk Radio is nothing without you, our regular listeners and contributors, and we welcome everyone's opinions and perspectives on technology and the providers of technology.

Everyone involved in the show is passionate about technology and contribute their services because they want to.
  
Tech Talk PlasmaSo upward and onward as we head to the next milestone. With politics becoming a main force in the evolution of technology in this country, and ostracizing of Telstra, our largest technology company, who seems to  have managed to alienate most of its customers, there will no doubt be plenty more water to pass under the Tech Talk Radio bridge in the coming weeks.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Large flat screen televisions labeled environmentally unfriendly
  • The world’s most famous document reader open to hacks
  • Apple accused of unlawful monopoly
  • We see our first iPhone, and road test one for real in the studio
  • Coonan makes another U-turn and
  • Website hackers are on the rise.



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Episode 41/2007 - TX: October 8th 2007 (Ep 149)
Pod

The first thing your tech support guru will ask you when you come to ask for computer help. Is “When did you last back your stuff up?” It’s about this time that most people go bright red and curl up in a ball in the corner in the foetal position. I learnt the value of backing up software last week when, accidentally, while I was cloning data from one server to another, I mistakenly deleted two files while talking on the phone. This in itself wasn’t a problem, because the files on the other server, which were intact, were more recent.

Having taken 5 phone calls in as many minutes, I reached over to the mouse and clicked the clone button on the desktop. It was at this point in time; I was distracted yet again and wandered off from the server. The cloning software I use actually clones the last action performed on a file before it looks at the time date stamp on the file, and you guessed it, the last action performed on these two files was a DELETE. Normally I would force a file copy and write the new file into the space where the old file had been deleted. With all the distractions in the office, I didn’t – instead clicking the clone button instead. The result – the software performed the last action and deleted the two good files as it would normally do.

Later in the day – several hours after the backup was long forgotten, I went to open the software which used these data files. Mmm that’s strange I thought to myself as the file not found dialogue box graced my screen. Then all of a sudden I realized what I’d done. Noooooooo I thought to myself. Fortunately I have an automated backup of one of my servers using the Microsoft’s backup program. Thank god for that I thought, and I simply restored the file to yesterdays copy.
The moral of the story is Backups can save your day. Whether it be family photos or important business documents, you can never have enough backups. Hard drives are cheap – the time to resurrect lost data is not. Sometimes a $200 hard drive insurance policy will save the day. In my case I lost a days data – it could have been a lot worse – oh, and the files that were deleted… they were quick books data files.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

* The giants tackle phishing
* Coonan and Howard rattle Telstra’s cage
* Adam looks at the media centre community
* Telstra calls for complaints and
* Airports turn to biometrics.



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Episode 40/2007 - TX: October 1 2007 (Ep 148)
Pod

If you’re an avid listener of tech talk radio, then you’ve no doubt hear the discussions on the panel about the quality of audio which has been compressed into a MP3. Chances are you’ve even heard the compression when listening to music on a good quality sound system or through headphones other than those ear buds that seem to be surgically implanted in the ears of the youth of today.
It’s that strange watery sound which is extremely noticeable on instruments that make sharp sounds such as symbols and high hats.

Here’s a techy insight into MP3. MP3 compression is an acronym for MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 audio layer 3. MP3 is the file extension for MPEG audio layer 3. Layer 3 is one of three coding schemes (layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3) for the compression of audio signals. Layer 3 uses perceptual audio coding and psycho acoustic compression to remove all superfluous information (more specifically, the redundant and irrelevant parts of a sound signal. The stuff the human ear doesn't hear anyway). It also adds a Modified Discrete Cosine Transform that implements a filter bank, increasing the frequency resolution 18 times higher than that of layer 2.

TTRNow that’s clear, the reality behind compression is that it is a loss process. Take your favorite track of music with say runs 3 or so minutes. In its uncompressed format, such as a wav or aif file, it would take require about 50Mb of storage to save the 3 minutes on a disk. The same track would take about 3Mb when compressed to an MP3. There’s a bit more to it than that, but that’s really all it is. The process of removing data from the file and reconstituting it on replay creates this watery sound. The same can be said for television.

I found myself wandering through a white goods store last Friday night looking at this large flat screen LCD and Plasma TVs. My background is broadcast television, and maybe I’m spoilt looking at pictures straight of the back of a Standard definition or high definition camera, but by the time these amazing images are broadcast to consumers via free to air television and delivered to our flat screen TV in the lounge room, the same degradation that happened to MP3s happens to video as well. Every time an audio or video is compressed and re constituted, the signal is degraded. By the time your HD picture leaves the TV station, it is squashed into a bandwidth pipe which now carries four standard definition pictures, an electronic program guide and a toke HD channel. The more detail in a picture, the more data is required to keep the detail. When the bandwidth limit is reached, the picture just falls apart.

Back in the old days when VHS machines were all the rage, Broadcast quality television exceeded that of what we had at home, now we’re seeing a reversal of that, what we can play off our DVD and Bluray players at home, can now exceed the quality of an off air TV signal. Even some Divx downloads off the internet are superior in quality.

Compression of audio and video signals is a necessary evil in this day of limited spectrum and bandwidth, but at what cost? If you’ve never had the awesome experience of seeing a true high definition television picture, then you’ll never appreciate the amount of degradation these images go through to be broadcast to our homes. And if you hadn’t notice, you can’t buy an old CRT TV these days no matter how hard you try, and to this day, I’m yet to see a large flat screen TV even come close to the quality of my CRT 16x9 tube TV. Then there’s pay TV – don’t start me on that!

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Channel 7 buys unwired
  • Prime TV launchs new online service
  • Adam Turner talks adblock plus and
  • ABC TV show the others how it's done online.

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Episode 39/2007 - TX: September 24 2007 (Ep 147)
Pod

It seems we’re not alone in this country when it comes to slow broadband, shoddy customer service and mobile phone sharks. This week alone see’s the UK frustration on the rise over broadband and in particular mobile phones. For years in Australia we’ve had contracts lock us in to inflexible long term payment structures, to cover the so called subsidy that phone companies allegedly, out of the kindness of their heart, offer us – the consumer. 12 month or two year contracts seem to be the norm these days.

3G HandsetRecently, with the commissioning and switching on of HSDPA data services in Australia, we’re still well and truly entrenched in the honeymoon period of pricing – not for us, but the Telco’s, and nearly 12 months down the track from the day Sol Trujillo launched Next G, that Telco in particular are still charging the same amount as they did on launch day.

To give you an idea of where we are with data right now, Telstra, Australia’s incumbent Telco, charge $109 for 1Gb of data, and at the other end of the spectrum, 3 charge just $30 for that same Gb. Telstra offer a casual or 24 month package and 3 offers a 12 month package.  In fairness though, 3 is a city centric provider where as Telstra offer nationwide coverage, although this is in itself the subject of litigation between Australia’s consumer watchdog – the ACCC and Telstra.

Back to the UK though, the launch of the iPhone and the talk about unlocking the device so it can be used on anyone’s network, has raised the question of being able to buy the handset of your choice unlocked, so you – the consumer – can have the choice of not being locked into a contract and therefore switch carriers as you like based on the good old customer values of price and service! After all, when was the last time you satisfied with either from a Telco? Also, have you ever tried buying a mobile device which is free of network restrictions?

The freedom provided by unlocked phones is particularly useful for people who travel, since they can avoid roaming fees by converting their mobile into a local phone in most countries by simply inserting a local SIM card. What a concept! If we, the consumer insisted on buying un locked, un branded mobile phones, maybe we’de see the return of customer service, and more importantly quality of service. One things for sure, apart from making the real cost of a handset apparent , we’d all have the benefit of changing our handsets as the new technology rolls out, without the payout penalty set to steal the majority of the cost of the new handset. So as a consumer I ask you this… Has complacency and habit put us at the mercy of the Telco? Maybe it’s time to spend that little bit more and swing the scales back in our favor.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Adam Turner checks out SCO and Linux
  • Coonan seeks to sensor the web
  • Lidija Davis joins us from California to talk video search
  • Justin Dunlop returns to the studio to update us on mac hardware and software
  • The ACMA says we’re a very connected nation and
  • We reveal just how much Bill gates earns in one day.

Website of the week: Howtogeek.com

Welcome to The How-To Geek, the friendliest source of "how-to" articles anywhere.

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Episode 38/2007 - TX: September 17 2007 (Ep 146)
Pod

With a federal poll looming later this year, all sides of politics are ramping up the rhetoric to fever pitch, but with a slightly different edge. This year more than ever, new technology is being used to communicate to the constituents. There seems to be a definitive swing away from traditional and main stream media channels to get the political message out there.

Facebook and Youtube are certainly new tools in the political marketing machine’s arsenal, but in an effort to bring the latest political trends and swings to the desk top, this week sees the search juggernaut Google launch a new service for Australian voters. Last week Google launched an election website that will enable voters to access video footage, user-generated content and customised information feeds as it and other key publishers gear up for what will be Australia's first YouTube election campaign. That’s right you heard it correctly, Australia’s first you tube election campaign.

If you’re a user of iGoogle, a customizable desktop allowing the display of user chosen information, you’ll be familiar with the use of tabs for different topics. With the click of your mouse on the www.google.com.au/election2007 website, a new tab will be installed which displays the latest youtube videos from each political party, the latest news from your electorate, user configurable election trends, even a section called Australian MPs on the record, where google returns documents containing the name of the MP and the selected issue.
Is this a sign of the times or what? It seems that Australian voters are indeed, connected. You can even add special Australian election content to Google Maps. Why not find your electorate, and see your seat in satellite view, explore marginal seats and view candidates. But wait there’s more...

So as we head for the local polling booth in the next few weeks, it seems that Google has just about thought of everything except for one small minor detail. We need a Chaser gadget for - when we need that well earned break from reality.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • iTunes Success
  • Telstra sets the watch dog on coonan
  • Sony ramps up the HD Challenge
  • Winemakers embrace open source
  • Web 2.0, blogs and litigation. 2clix and
  • Google funds a $30m moonshot

Website of the week: REAL AGE CALCULATOR

Your health, lifestyle, and habits have a dramatic affect on your lifespan. We know smoking robs a person of several years of his life, as do many other activities. It is also well documented that stress, sleep habits, and dieting can affect ones life. A 30 year old man who smokes, is highly stressed, sleeps 5 hours per night, and is overweight could be in equivalent health to a 38 year old man who does not share these conditions. This is called Real Age or Health Age. There are far more conditions that affect age than can be listed here. This test is for entertainment only. If you are concerned about the results please see a doctor. Real Age is free for anyone to add to their website.

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Episode 37/2007 - TX: September 10 2007 (Ep 145)
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In this day of consumerism, and in particular that of cheap disposable printers, this week I finally came across a new way to make cheap printers even cheaper and those who purchase them infuriated. A colleague of mine recently decided to purchase an office laser printer, not for high volume printing, he just wanted to have documents that looked a little better than an ink jet printer could deliver and something a bit more water resistant.
pagepro 1400

Having sung the virtues of my first laser printer, a device made by Hewlett Packard and as good today as it was 12 years ago when I bought it, I told my colleague that he couldn’t really go wrong with today’s black and white laser printers. He chose a Konica Minolta $99 special which he bought off the shelf from Harvey Norman. How could he go wrong?

Having unpacked the printer and thrown away the packaging the new printer was going strong. The printer was delivering the quality prints you’d expect from such a device. Then, a couple of days and about 10 or 20 pages down the track, the printer decided to stop printing, instead it chose to flash a continuous error on the front control panel. There was no paper jam or cartridge jam, just a continuous error despite our best intentions of solving the problem. The documentation that came with the printer consisted of a multi language document of just several pages. It showed in pictorial form, how to unpack the printer and connect it to a computer. Nothing about fault finding, or frequently asked questions – nothing.

We turned to the internet in the hope of finding more information on the Konica Minolta website, but couldn’t get past the broken link on their website after selecting Laser Printers.

The site returned Error reading from remote server Apache/2.0.52 (Red Hat) Server at www.printer-konicaminolta.com Port 80 which is still there to this day. At this point in time we resorted to the Australian support telephone service, and, after a lengthy wait, we were give no useful information about the product and told to return the product to whence it came. Mmmm No box or packaging. Great we thought, so off we went, back to Harvey Norman receipt and faulty printer in tow. Harvey Norman were fantastic. To their credit, they swapped the printer over no questions asked. – however as you’d expect, they kept the new box. 

We now had a new Konica Minolta laser printer with the added bonus – it worked! A month into the second printer, and not even a ream of paper, we ran out of toner. What? We all thought? It’s only a month old! We rang a toner supply company which informed us that companies like Konica Minolta supply their printers with a demonstration cartridge. What’s a demonstration cartridge we all asked, to which the response was “Now we know why they’re so cheap” These are toner cartridges with about a 10% fill of toner. Why bother!! So we learnt our lesson. Like everything in this world, when a deal looks too good to be true, it quite often is.  
This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • iPhones are the choice of hackers
  • Telstra executive emails now interest the government lawyers?
  • Microsoft take on Google in the online application wars
  • We compare television services in Australia to that of Europe and
  • Google joins the hunt for lost adventurer Steve Fosset

Website of the week: Alexa.com

About the Alexa Traffic Rankings A listing of all sites on the Web, sorted by traffic... Alexa computes traffic rankings by analyzing the Web usage of millions of Alexa Toolbar users. The information is sorted, sifted, anonymized, counted, and computed, until, finally, we get the traffic rankings shown in the Alexa service.

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Episode 36/2007 - TX: September 3, 2007 (Ep 144)
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Making it easier to part consumers with their hard earned money has always been high on the list of priorities of many companies. There have been many attempts over the years, but not since the arrival of the SIM based mobile phone, has this prospect become Near Field Credt Cardscloser to reality. Way back in January 2007 Nokia demonstrated a mobile phone which doubled as a credit card at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Then, the credit card company Visa joined forces with mobile phone maker Nokia to try and make this a reality.
The process of making a purchase would be to wave your mobile device over a sensor. At the time, this was dubbed Near Field Communications and would rely on the technology being accepted by consumers, retailers, telcos and banks and subsequently rolled out. This week saw another push for this technology by the National Australia Bank,Visa, and Telstra as they begin a three month trial in the Melbourne CBD involving 200 NAB and Telstra staff and 30 stores.

This time the consumer’s information will be embedded in the SIM Card, the chip which contains the mobile phone account details, phone numbers and now a NAB Visa card application. It’s rumored that the stores targeted in the trial are chemists, restaurants and convenience stores. After the initial tests, the trial will be opened up to include customers of other banks Instead of having a wallet or purse full of plastic cards, you could soon have them all supported on a single mobile phone, providing enhanced security and convenience.

Now while on the subject of security, this is the great unknown. At this point in time, there are no details available outlining what happens in the very likely possibilities of losing your mobile or having it stolen, nor the finer details of how the transaction actually takes place. So here we go again – another step closer to the cashless world of commerce.
 
This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Teenagers sleeping habits affected by technology
  • ID Fraud cost Australia Billions?
  • Optus turns to BPL to compete with Telstra
  • If you hack apples iPhone you stand to be rewarded
  • Microsofts vista due for its first major update in early 2008 and
  • Drugs, Blogs and the mainstream media

Website of the week: Website Grader is a free SEO tool that provides an SEO score for your website with custom search engine optimization and marketing advice for your website.  Use the form to enter your website, your keyword phrases and your competitors to receive a report about the marketing effectiveness of your website.

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Episode 35/2007 - TX: August 27, 2007 (Ep 143)
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As a parent of a young girls who have already started using the internet, I thought I’d take a personal look at what the Federal Government has on offer when it comes you making the online world just a little bit safer for our kids.

Firstly, if your mind has been elsewhere in the past few weeks, the Federal government through the ACMA, have released software which can be downloaded free of charge from the Net Alert website and installed on PCs using  Windows 98 through to Vista and Macs using OSX 10.4 or later.

Net Alert states: Internet content filter reduces the risk of your family coming into contact with something upsetting or dangerous online. Internet content filters offer a range of different functions to help block, screen and monitor unwelcome material. However, they do not offer total protection and work most effectively in association with a range of strategies to stay safe online.

Instead of one application, there are in fact 3 to choose from, Interguard, OptiNet, and Safe Eyes. So you have to do a bit of research to find out which one works best for your environment, and we’ll talk about these later in the show.
All in all, the site is well presented and easy to navigate – a plus for non net savvy parents. If you consider yourself a luddite when it comes to computers and the internet your not alone, To find out more about the online world – which as a parent you should, the first place to visit on the Net Alert website is the Advice section where you can download a parents guide, or even read it online if don’t know how to download it. This document runs a dozen or so pages, and talks about potential online dangers, and highlights ten things you can do right now to help your children stay safe online. It even explains commonly used terms such as Chat rooms, peer to peer file sharing and Spam.

As a parent, you’re responsible for your kids until their 18 years of age, and this includes what they do online. As kids grow and learn, they adapt quite easily to the new technologies, and most use it for good rather than evil, but unfortunately, there are a few who choose to bully classmates from afar. This can include things like identity theft, through to SMS taunts at 3 in the morning, and as a parent of a child who goes down this path, you are legally responsible for their actions. The last thing you want is a visit by boys and girls in blue, informing you of what your child has been up to online.
So do it for yourself, and do it for your kids. Get informed, and get online. It’ll open up a whole new world of possibilities.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • A phone company misleading consumers – never.
  • What is unified messaging and what does it mean to me?
  • Australia’s Smart Card is too smart by half and
  • The PC Game market grows 50percent in 4 years

Website of the week: Orb! Orb is simple and fast to use. The Orb application is free to download and install, and there are no fees for MyCasting. You only need a home computer to get setup, and can use any web-enabled media player with streaming capabilities, portable or otherwise, to remotely play the media you desire.

Once the Orb software is installed on your "always-on" home PC, your computer acts like your personal broadcasting system. You now have the ability to stream content through any internet-connected device like a mobile phone, PDA, laptop or any other computer.

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Episode 34/2007 - TX: August 20, 2007 (Ep 142)
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There have been many technological revolutions over the years, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest. It’s not the telephone becoming mobile, nor is it this fan-dangled internet thingy, it’s actually the ubiquitous compact disc. The promise of taking sound reproduction from an analogue format into a lossless, digital format was not only appealing to the masses; it proved to be a technological milestone. Nearly everyone alive at the time can remember their first CD; mine was Love over Gold by Dire Straits.

CD LaunchThe CD is still evolving. When it first hit the market 25 years ago last Friday, it was really an audio only device, or at least that is what we were led to believe, but as we now know, audio was just the beginning. The CD started life as an optical storage device which was capable or storing 70 odd minutes of music, before moving into the realm of computer data storage. We were amazed by the ability of such a small disc to store so much data – a concept which really revolutionized our way of thinking.

It was Aug. 17, 1982, and row upon row of palm-sized plates with a rainbow sheen began rolling off an assembly line near Hanover, Germany. An engineering marvel at the time. Those first CDs contained Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony and would sound equally sharp if played today, says Holland's Royal Philips Electronics NV, which jointly developed the CD with Sony Corp. of Japan.
Today the CD has evolved into the DVD which in turn mutated into Bluray and HD DVD formats. But in this ever changing technological landscape, you have to wonder about the future of the Compact Disc. In the age of iPods, memory sticks, digital downloads and disposable generation Y, I still believe the Compact disc has got another 25 years in it at least, and possibly more. After all, the manufacturers all sold us on the fact that the CD – if look after – could stand the test of time of and last at least, one hundred years. As for Love over Gold – it’s just turned 25 too and looks and sounds as good as the day I bought it.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Skype experience a major outage
  • The wiki scanner reveals big brother is editing
  • Microsoft patches come thick and fast and
  • Farmers are up in arms over Next

Website of the week: Want to know what the number of the phone is in the corner? Access Communications have a great list of test numbers for the Australian phone system

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Episode 33/2007 - TX: August 13, 2007 (Ep 141)
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There’s plenty to talk about in the Australian technology scene at the moment, what with Sol Trujillo’s 3 million dollar pay rise, John Howard’s free porn filter for all, and the sweet victory by Ice TV over the Nine network in relation to Nine’s outrageous allegation that it owned the copyright of it’s TV program guide.

SolBut first this week, I bet you didn’t know that Sol Trujillo’s salary is 38 times that of the Prime Minister of Australia. Yes you heard me correctly – Mr Trujillo's total pay packet increased by $3 million last financial year to $11.78 million - 38 times the prime minister's salary.

John Howard said on Radio last week that he wasn’t complaining about the salary he gets but he did think the average Australian, who gets paid a lot less than he does regards that sort of salary as being absolutely unreasonable – a sentiment that I whole hartedly agree with – with one exception, I’d substitute the word unreasonable with obscene.  As a shareholder you would have to ask if you thought it was good value for money.

Also this week, the free to air television networks are finally coming to a harsh reality that the way consumers get their news and entertainment is changing. The days of free to air tv’s dominance in the market place is changing. Recently the Seven network announce a partnership with TiVo in an effort to provide commercial free TV to the masses at a cost, and this week PBL’s Nine Network lost a case over it’s alleged copyright of its program guide.

This week Tech Talk Radio regular Adam Turner gets off the couch and visits the Tech Talk Radio studio... and this week IceTV wins copyright battle with Nine Network! You can read Adams article on iTwire.

Julius Sinkevicius on Tech Talk RadioAlso we catch up with Julius Sinkevicius, Senior Product Manager of Windows Server Division of Microsoft from their US Headquarters. Julius will run us through the new Server 2008 technology as Sever 2003 gets a makeover.

Julius started working in information technology in 1991, and has held various positions in systems and network administration. In 1998, he joined Microsoft as part of the Microsoft Consulting Services group and worked with some of Canada’s largest companies deploying infrastructure servers. In 2000, he moved to Redmond, Washington and worked in the Microsoft Learning and Tablet PC groups.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Adam Turner Joins us live in the studio to talk about living room convergence
  • Microsoft talks to Tech Talk Radio about Server 2008
  • We get the panels reaction to Sol’s $3m pay rise
  • The election campaigning ramps up with John Howard’s porn filter for all and
  • Coonan opens up the broadband race.
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Episode 32/2007 - TX: August 6, 2007 (Ep 140)
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If you’re a Telstra share holder, you must be seriously wondering about the wisdom of your investment in what used to be the most highly regarded and respected Australian owned and operated telco.

Since the demise of Ziggy and appointment of Sol and his three amigos, the companies reputation in the eyes of most Australian’s has been some what tarnished. The on going stouch with the Australian Government over Fibre to the node, along with pricing issues with the ACCC, and now the threat by Telstra’s public affairs boss and bull terrier Phil Burgess – you remember him – he was to one who wouldn’t sell Telstra shares to his mother – to invest the $4bn allocated to FTTN into something else, and probably overseas, really makes you wonder where their loyalties lie.

Most other IT companies invest unconditionally for the future, earning the reputation of being innovators and leaders in their field. With success comes respect and loyalty with consumers and manufacturers, take Apple or example. Like them or loath them, Apple has a league of devout followers who, for what ever reason, worship the technology that Steve Jobs and his colleagues dish up. The may have their run ins with governments and businesses from time to time, but it doesn’t stall the process of development and roll out of new technology.  This unfortunately is not the same for Telstra.

Phil BurgessDr Phil Burgess addressed a Rotary club lunch in Melbourne this week and the mud slinging he’s renowned for was flying thick and fast. The headline in the Australian newspaper made me laugh – “Terror threat if Telstra loses” I just had to read on. This time Phil was ramping up the fear factor about the strategic roll Telstra plays when providing services to ASIO in the form of phone intercepts. He said "That is something that has to be an intimate relationship between the judicial authorities, the security authorities and the telecommunications company. You want the government of Singapore to be at the table on that?”  He went on to say he didn't know any country in the world, and he didn’t know any press in the world, that would stand by with their hands in their pockets and watch critical infrastructure be turned over to a foreign government." Not bad for a pr boss who’s company is about to sue the Federal Government for missing out on winning a tender for broadband in the bush.

Maybe Phil’s dealing with the wrong department and Senator Coonan could introduce Doctor Phil Burgess to Kevin Andrew’s the minister for Immigration and Citizenship. After all Kevin Andrews takes a great deal of interest in Foreign Doctors who deal in SIM Cards. Maybe Phil could spend some time at hotel Villawood and then been deported as a threat to national security. Now there’s a thought. 2 birds with one stone! Shareholders rejoice!

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Dr Ron takes a look at Australia's first synchrotron
  • Elton John blasts the internet
  • New online ad system threatens privacy
  • Digital online delivery winning the format race and
  • iTunes reaches a new milestone.

Website of the week:The Australian Government, through the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology, Royal Australian Navy and CSIRO has initiated BLUElink> Ocean forecasting Australia, a $15m project to deliver ocean forecasts for the Australian region.

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Episode 31/2007 - TX: July 30, 2007 (Ep 139)
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Tech Talk RadioIt’s no secret that Australian’s have a love affair with technology, and atop of the list of gadgets that we just can’t do with out is the mobile phone.

An estimated 94 per cent of Australians own a mobile phone, and for some it's their most treasured gadget. The mobile phone boom has fascinated sociologists, who for years, have been warning of the potential of mobiles to change the way we interact and  now there's evidence that mobile phones have got thousands of Australians hooked.

We’ve even taken it to the streets here at Tech Talk Radio and found that the money spent on phones and phone plans absolutely astounding. Clinical Psychologists have reported that many young people would almost prefer an amputation to being without their mobile phone.

So what’s the world, or Australia in this case, coming to? Are we becoming a society where being connected, or in touch with our friends, is now the most important thing to us? And how does all this telecommunications affect us socially? Those in the know say mobiles reduce the amount of face-to-face contact people have, which leads to less meaningful relationships.

With mobile phone usage costing some young people hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month, one has to ask where they’re getting the money?

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Microsoft takes a look at it’s future
  • Virgin takes to 3G
  • Acer calls Vista a dud
  • Apples iPhone hacked (or should that be cracked) and
  • Network Ten snubs TiVo.

Gadget of the week: Looks like I caught a few bovines flying outside the window this morning, as Sony has just released the B100 digital audio player that does not use ATRAC to work, repenting from their proprietary manner that it has imposed upon consumers for too long a time. The B100 looks like the recently released NW-E010 and comes in 1GB and 2GB capacities, supporting both MP3 and WMA formats. Other features include an integrated FM tuner and recorder, a voice recorder function, a 6-mode equalizer, and a battery life of one dozen hours (which ain't too shabby). SonicStage has been pre-loaded into the B100 itself for easier music management. The 1GB and 2GB models will retail for approximately $93 and $113 respectively.

Website of the week: iStockphoto® is the world's preeminent collection of member-generated royalty-free images, at the world's best prices. There are no subscription fees or extra costs. Just the best Stock Photography, Vector illustrations, and Flash files online, at prices for everyone.

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Episode 30/2007 - TX: July 23, 2007 (Ep 138)
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Digital cameras are everywhere; in fact you’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t got one. Born out of the technology that brought television, digital cameras can be found in anything these days from Automatic Teller Machines to Mobile phones – they’re even on top of polls at intersections these days.

Based on solid state CCD or Charged Coupled Device technology, the digital camera has evolved into a high resolution camera, which quality is measured by the number of Mega Pixels right? Wrong! There are many factors which determine how good a camera is, and more importantly is the quality of the lens in front of the camera.

Michel LawrenceTo discuss this and other aspect surrounding the art of digital photography, we’re joined by Michel Lawrence, an advertising agency guru and experienced photographer who’s latest project entails photographing every nationality that calls Melbourne home - some 250 smiling faces, to be exhibited at Melbourne’s Federation Square for Australia Day 2008, and, which will no doubt travel the length and breadth of Australia. All of us is Mechel's website

Digital cameras have certainly changed the way we take photos. Not only can we make great quality prints at home, we also email them to our family and friends, and post them on the internet. Today, we’ll give you some tips from the pros about the costs involved, image formats and sizes, image manipulation software, storage and backup. Everything you need to know to get you up and running in the brave new world of digital photography.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Telstra kills of i-mode
  • Mobile scheme failing teenagers
  • The EU backs Nokia’s DVBH and
  • Vodafone asks where’s the 3G iPhone?

Gadget of the week: Viewsonic's PJ258D iProjector

Website of the week: Mailinator is a simple and easy way to create a temporary email addres if you don't want to give yours out. And these days - who does?

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Episode 29/2007 - TX: July 16, 2007 (Ep 137)
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Online and offline privacy are becoming quite an issue these days, what with identity theft growing at an alarming rate. Even the Australian Tax office has a page on their website titled “Identity theft and your Tax File number”. 

Identity theft - A growing concernRecent studies indicate that more than seven million people in the United States alone have been the victim of identity theft. That averages out to nearly 3.4 percent of the nation’s population that have fallen victim. So what’s to say it’s not happening here in Australia?

There are really two ways criminals can get our personal details. Firstly they can attack institutions which house our details through day to day transactions such as utility companies, financial institutions, government and even retailers. Secondly, they can attack us, by trying to trick us into giving them our personal details – known as phishing, or by installing small programs on our computers that capture our keystrokes and send them to the crooks via the internet. There’s even concerns about online organizations such as Google, the worlds largest and most popular search engine about how it stores personal data, and what personal data it collects knowingly and unknowingly to the user.

Online safety should be everyone’s first concern these days, and there are plenty of products on the market to help us stay safe, but the best defense we have is common sense. No amount of clever software can prevent identity theft as ultimately it’s the end user who clicks OK on the dialogue box requesting permission to continue. Trusting your instincts is one of the best defenses you can have. If it looks and feels suspicious, then chances are it is.

Today the Tech Talk Radio panelists will share their experiences and recommendations when it comes to protecting yourself on line. So if you don’t know the difference between a Virus and a Trojan, then be sure to stay tuned.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Microsoft announces the launch of the next generation of server technology
  • iPods and Lightning
  • Mobile phone base stations and lightning
  • Google and the ACCC go head to head and and
  • Virgin set to launch 3G

Gadget of the week: Dr Ron's PVR

Website of the week: Will it Blend? A particularly silly website which is completely non technical, infact the try and sell their blenders with it, but the demos are particularly funny. Have a look at Will it blend? and see how the iPhone turned out. Well, we thought it was funny.

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Episode 28/2007 - TX: July 9, 2007 (Ep 136)
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Have you ever wondered about the digital trail that you leave behind in your day to day travels? Have you ever used your internet banking to see where you partner is currently spending your hard earned cash? Maybe not, but every time you make a telephone call on you home or mobile phone, do a financial transaction of any kind, or even browse the internet, then chances are there’ll be some digital crumb left behind which can be used to identify you if someone needs to.

terrorismLast week SEVERAL people arrested in connection with the British terror attacks were traced after mobile telephones found intact in the failed London car bombs revealed crucial information. Media reports said as soon as police recovered the phones from the two Mercedes cars, officers went to work on the Sim cards, gathering a wealth of intelligence from the numbers stored.

Within 24 hours anti-terrorist police were heading to Glasgow, searching for members of the terrorist cell and warning the largest shopping centre in the area to increase the security in its car parks. Maybe there were some Australian numbers amongst them.

In Australia, Telstra record the details of every call that passes through their network. They don’t record the conversation, only the originating number, the destination number and the time of the call. This information is kept for quite some time and is available to law enforcement agencies should it be required.

It’s also possible to trace internet users via their IP addresses, although this requires the cooperation of local co-operative ISPs. Dealing with large overseas ISPs is not so easy. So next time you’re up to no good, leave all the mod cons out of arms reach.  

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Optus to measures uploads like Telstra
  • Gadget's to widen energy drain
  • 1TB optical disks now in prospect
  • Top broadband ISPs deny P2P shaping
  • The IIA push on cable net choke and
  • Albums yield to digital push.

Gadget of the week: Western Digital WD MyBook World Edition

Website of the week: A web browser with a difference - Flock

From Flock's website: Flock is an amazing new web browser that makes it easier to share media and connect to other people online. Share photos, automatically stay up-to-date with new content from your favorite sites, and search the Web with the most advanced Search Toolbar available today.

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Episode 27/2007 - TX: July 2, 2007 (Ep 135)
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Australia is known for being record breakers in technology, and other fields, but some of the records we hold are for the wrong reasons. We’re branded as being fast adapters of new technology, which in turn suggests we understand how the technology we’re using works, and as a result we tend to push it as hard as we can.

This is probably a good thing, but when local Television Networks prevent us from seeing what the rest of the world is seeing due to programming policy, Australian’s are very quick to jump online and download what we’re missing. Its high time television networks in this country took a look at their business models, because, as the world of high speed internet grows, revenue from advertising is sure to diminish as consumers turn to the online world to download the legal or illegal copies of TV shows.    

A classic example of this is the TV show ‘Lost’ which screens in Australia on the seven network. As soon as this program aired in the United States, pirated copies appeared on peer to peer file sharing sites around the world. With the aid of a search engine, it isn’t hard to track them down. If you’re not aware of this, on a fast ADSL2 internet connection, a one hour TV program can be downloaded in a couple of minutes, and without ads. If TV stations in Australia don’t become more adaptive to scheduling a new TV series at the same time it airs in other countries, this will only continue to happen and undermine their revenue.

The internet is the single biggest threat to Television in this country, not only by down loaders, but by everyone who seeks entertainment. In the last 12 months, TV audiences in Australia have declined by 7% and this will only increase if the Networks don’t wake up. Globally young men in the 16 to 30 age group watch less than 27 minutes of TV per day. This means advertisers targeting that market only have 2 TV commercial breaks per day. Don’t think they haven’t noticed!  As a result, online advertising will continue to grow – have you noticed?

TiVoThe Seven Network has just announced the roll out of TiVo, a personal video recorder which is subscription based, that allows you to fast forward the ads. They will have electronic control over what you watch albeit on their network or others. This in itself prompts many questions. So where is it all going? What will be the role of commercial free to air television in Australia in 5 years time? One things for sure, the San Andreas Fault line of electronic delivery of entertainment to consumers is about to see a major earthquake. Some media empires will have a new ocean view, and others will meet the same fate as Atlantis.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Myspace TV takes on Youtube
  • Adam Turner meets BTs boss to compare notes about Telstra’s broadband rollout
  • Tech buyers say iPhone is too 1.0 and
  • Telstra’s competitors get a rent reduction.

Gadget of the week: The Philips SLM5500 wireless media streamer.

Website of the week: Cracking the Apple iPhone - Seeing IS believing!

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Episode 26/2007 - TX: June 25, 2007 (Ep 134)
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microsoftThis week, Sarah Bond, Platform Strategy Manager at Microsoft Australia, will demystify the new file format in office 2007 by explaining what it is and outlining the benefits it offers.

Have you ever pondered the idea of migrating from your existing operating system to the next with the promise of greener pastures? Has the thought of a few new features in your favorite software got the better of you? Or have you ever contemplated a change of platform? It’s a big decision, often the cause of much anguish over many days.

Fortunately the upgrade of a simple single application isn’t too daunting, but spare a thought for the application that radically changes the way it saves its files or the way it changes its look and feel. If the software designers have done their job correctly, the removal of the old and the addition of the new should be an uneventful experience, but it doesn’t always go according to plan. What does that dialog box that pops up mid way through the installation, after all the previous removal process has completed that states the installation could not be completed because of an unknown error? It’s at this point in time that you run out of the room holding your head screaming obscenities and your neighbors see a side of you they weren’t previously aware of.  You can certainly see why a lot of computer users subscribe to the “IF IT AINT BROKE DON’T FIX IT” way of thinking.

This is certainly the case for operating systems upgrades, office productivity suites and accountancy software. There’s normally too much to loose if it all goes wrong. But is this becoming a thing of the past?

There are some simple processes and ideas you can follow when performing the upgrade to change your life, and today the panelists will share some of their experiences when it comes to the mother of all upgrades. Also we talk to Sarah Bond from Microsoft about the benefits of migrating to Office 2007. There are major changes to the way Microsoft Office looks and handles its files, which to the ill informed could be the biggest reason not to migrate to the new system. But like everything, when you know how, it’s easy and there’s nothing to worry about.

Also this week
  • Telstra’s broadband meltdown leaves thousands offline,
  • Adam Turner looks at journalism and blogs where he deciphers the fine line between balance and objective reporting, to personal opinion in blogs
  • Lidija Davis, the Californian Blog queen also joins us
  • Cheap WiFi is too slow
  • Coonan dials up broadband a hotline and
  • An Australian recently, extradited to the US to face piracy charges receives a 4 year jail term.

Website of the week: Want to be Carbon neutral when it comes to your website? A British company can make your site carbon neutral for as little as £6 a year! What are you waiting for, visit COCO2.org

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Episode 25/2007 - TX: June 18, 2007 (Ep 133)
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gdd07au registrationFor years now the internet has become more and more media rich. From what used to be a text based world in the domain of geeks and men who wore white coats, to now, where internet users consist of nearly everyone on the planet, of every age, nationality and almost independent of wealth. The net has truly become world wide catering for everything and everybody.

Today’s online experience is more than computer based. We can take it with us in the form of a 3rd generation mobile phone or a portable digital assistant. We even use the internet for making phone calls at prices so cheap, it’s almost free. What the traditional telephone did for the mankind, the internet is about to again, if it hasn’t already done so. Never before have we been so connected - we’re truly a global village.

Today, if you’re not online, you’re in a shrinking minority. We can access the online world via the telephone line, radio waves, and satellites, so regardless of speed and location, online access is close by. In an age where consumerism is running rampant, and outputs are no longer measured in monetary value rather tons of carbon, one has to wonder where we’ll be in 20 years time.

The internet promises to get bigger and faster, as more and more consumer services become available online. No longer do we need to get in the car and go to the shops – we can find everything we want online in the global shopping centre. When was the last time you went inside the bank? When was the last time you paid a bill by writing a cheque and walked to the mail box on the corner to post it? And what is a cheque anyway?

The communications revolution of the 21st century will be unrelenting. Never before have we seen social change in such a short period of time. The revolution promises many surprises – Are you ready?   

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Apple take on Microsoft and Firefox,
  • Adam Turner has a telescope next to the couch this week and peeks at Pluto
  • We take a look at a sport which requires a 4WD, GPS navigation and Radio receivers
  • US authorities swoop on MySpace
  • IT glitch threatens the international space station
  • Microsoft plugs a few more security holes
  • eBay fights for Buy it Now and
  • YouTube tests video fingerprints

    Website of the week: 20 Tips for More Efficient Google Searches - For millions of people, Google is an indispensable search tool that they use every day, in all facets of their lives. From work or school, research, to looking up movies and celebrities to news and gossip, Google is the go-to search engine.

    USB ShredderGadget of the week: ou don't have to wait until spring to start cleaning out your desks at home and at the office - with Brando's USB Portable Paper Shredder, you can do it as long as there is a USB port available nearby. All you need to do is place the damning piece of creative accounting evidence inside and press a button. Should there be no USB port in the vicinity, you can always rely on a quartet of AA batteries to do the dirty job. The USB Portable Paper Shredder has a shredding capacity of 5 sheets and does paper up to A6 in size (folded A4 papers are also accepted). Pick one up for your home for $22.50 a pop.

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Episode 24/2007 - TX: June 11, 2007 (Ep 132)
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What's a commodity item?

Often we use the word 'commodity' to mean something that's freely traded, something which is in such contiuous demand that its value is set by the market, or even something that's become a necessary staple in a consumer society.

The question is, have personal computers become commodity items?  Is a PC or a Mac or broadband internet now an absolute necessity for day-to-day living?

Certainly computers these days, and especially peripherals like printers, mouses, keyboards and monitors, have become commodity items.  You can buy them in supermarkets, they're delivered to your door in the same way that we get groceries or furntiute home-delivered, and this is the interesting thing – we even throw them away when they no longer work.

A wise man once observed that mature markets modularise.  In the early 1980s, Tandy Corporation released the Model III microcomputer, with a self contained keyboard, screen, integrated disk drives and central processing unit.  This was proprietary technology and required trained experts to attend to and repair any faults.  If the keyboard stopped working, for example, you'd take the unit back to Tandy for repair.  You wouldn't (or, couldn't) unplug the keyboard and put it out on the nature strip for the next hard rubbish collection.

25 years later, if a keyboard stopped working on my home computer, I would be putting the keyboard on the nature strip and forking out $19.95 at my local supermarket the next time I picked up the bread and milk.

The home computer market has modularised, and in doing so, much of this equipment has become disposable.Has your mouse stopped working?  Just buy a new one.  USB memory stick starting to kick errors?  Rip one out of your Weaties packet.  And this might sound bizarre to some - is your printer out of ink?  Throw it away, buy a new one.

In 25 years for now, if an error appears on our computer screen, will we just throw away the whole computer and buy a new one? In this episode we look at modularisation in the 21st century, and the commodity items we call Macs and Personal Computers.

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Episode 23/2007 - TX: June 4, 2007 (Ep 131)
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gdd07au registrationWell what an exiting week it’s been, Google came to Sydney last week, and I jumped on the 6.45am Virgin flight out of Melbourne to find out first hand, what Google wanted developers to develop. It wasn’t long into the keynote address by Alan Noble, Google Australia’s Engineering Director, that we learnt about Google Gears, a small application which Google promises will allow us to use the web offline. Like Microsoft’s Outlook transitions seamlessly between the online and offline world, Google Gears will do the same for our web experience.

The other main point I got from developer’s day, was the importance Google places on maps. 80% of data has a geospatial reference, that is, a reference to some physical point on the planet. Google Earth and Google maps are at the forefront of this push as the search engine juggernaut breathes life into this product with a new package of tools allowing developers even more flexibility to use Google maps in ways you can only dream of on a website near you.  

gdd07au stageOur hosts put on a generous lunch and a great selection of drinks and nibbles, to keep over 700 developers keen and interested from 9 in the morning right through to 6 in the evening. The complimentary Google T-shirt was an unexpected departing gesture and a nice addition to the holographic notepad, google pen and Google stickers – bad luck to those who left early. Oh and did someone say Microsoft launched something on the same day?

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • We look at Google’s grand plans for world domination,
  • Adam Turner looks on as Apple and gootube get into bed together
  • Telstra promise the mother of all law suites if the G9 get their way, not to mention the boots went in just for good measure,
  • Microsoft add some new furniture to their range of hardware,
  • Seven and Engin team up to bring us TiVo,
  • Another spammer arrested, and
  • Bill Gates catches up with an old friend, Steve Jobs

    Website of the week: The Lynx Viewer allows webmasters to see what their pages will look like when viewed with Lynx, a text-mode web browser. It is also presumably, how search engines see your site. In addition to that, it can help determine if web pages are accessible to the vision impaired.

    Gadget of the week: Smartparts is offering the 15" SP15MW digital photo frame just in time for Father's Day. I often ask myself, where do you draw the line between a regular LCD monitor and a digital photo frame? Apparently 15" is too close for comfort, considering how most digital photo frames are half that size. The SP15MW boasts full 24-bit color display at 1024 x 768 resolution, birch framing for a more dignified look, hidden speakers, support for MP3, AVI, MPEG, and MPEG 4 playback, 256MB of internal memory, and a multi-memory card slot which includes support for CF and SDHC cards. Pricing details are still unavailable as at press time.

tags: gdd07au, Telstra, TiVo, Adam Turner, Google

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Episode 22/2007 - TX: May 28, 2007 (Ep 130)
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In recent times on Tech Talk Radio, we’ve spoken of the next generation of web sites otherwise known as Web 2.0. Wikipediae defines Web 2 as a term often applied to a perceived ongoing transition of the World Wide Web from a collection of websites to a full-fledged computing platform serving web applications to end users. Ultimately Web 2.0 services are expected to replace desktop computing applications for many purposes. Collaboraton and interactivity is at the heart of this new genre of websites.

Amongst the ever increasing interactive sites are blog sites, or websites where you can keep a journal about absolutely anything. Visitors can read your site and interact with you – in other words, you’ve created your very own soap box where spruiking, voicing your opinion, or unashamed self expression are all encouraged. Maybe you’ll be deemed an influential site – that is, a site which can alter readers thoughts and opinions on specific issues. In the world of free speech, this is good.

If you’ve ever wanted to write a blog, all will be revealed on today’s show – it will cost you nothing but time, and some internet access. Wordpress.com is one such website offering literay wanna-be’s a precipice where they can jump head first into the world of a biographer, columnist, correspondent, critic, journalist, or novelist. But just remember, never believe everything you read on the internet!

ABC VandalisedThis week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Lidija Davis talks to Matt Mullenweg from wordpress, who coincidentally are celebrating their fourth birthday
  • Adam Turner puts his feet up on the couch
  • Vandals strike the ABC
  • TELSTRA is forcing its customer service staff to sell internet, mobile phone and other products to callers and has put 20 per cent of their salaries at risk if they fail to reach sales targets.
  • Coonan caught out over broadband sledge
  • Skimmer hit blocks Westpac cards
  • Nigerians scamming Queenslanders to the tune of $500,000 per month and our story that fell through the holes last week, Google’s Universal search coming to a web browser near you.

The ABC's virtual reality island in the online game Second Life has been trashed in an act of digital vandalism.

Lidija Davis chats to Matt Mullenweg, of WordPress fame at the end of Pier 38 in San Francisco, He's also the founder of Automattic, the company behind all great things like Akismet. This week, collaborative Web.

It's also Wordpress' 4th birthday! Listen to the full interview with Matt Mullenweg.


Website of the week:
OzPoi.com is a site for anyone with a car navigation system. Download 'Points of Interest' for you device so you'll never get lost!

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Episode 21/2007 - TX: May 21, 2007 (Ep 129)
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Have you ever planned a trip overseas and wondered what technology is like on the other side of the world? Chances are, we take what we have in this country along with other developed countries for granted, that is our existing mobile phone will roam on our hosts networks, we’ll still receive the plethora of SMS messages we receive daily albeit at a slightly inflated price, and the internet is still a click away,  but spare a thought for ex-pats living in countries like Pakistan. Today Dr Ron chats with one just ex-pat living in Islamabad.

Apple TVApple have had their fair share in the media spotlight of late, but what of the great new products steve Jobs promised us recently in the form of the apple iPhone and apple TV? Well to this day, Australian telco’s have dismissed the iPhone as yesterdays technology and apple tv has fallen of the radar because of lack of content in the Australian market and the technology it connects with. Adam Turner put his feet up on the couch this week to compare apples with apples, and found what looks delicious and inviting on the outside, is more like a lemon on the inside. And if you are in the market for a box which does way apple tv should do, then tune in.

crashAviation has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in recent times, what with the private equity buy out of Qantas falling in a heap, and the tragic Air Garuda crash in Indonesia earlier this year, we thought it high time to get our regular aviation guru on the show to tell us about these and other goings in in the high tech world of aviation. Mark Mayer is recently retired Qantas pilot and is passionate about flying, so stay tuned for the latest news in world aviation.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Lidija Davis talks Web2.0 from Silicon Valley in the US
  • Adam Turner looks at the Apple TV
  • Mark Mayer returns to the Tech Talk Radio Studios to talk aviation
  • Telstra Targets the ACCC over broadband
  • Amazon to tack iTunes with DRM free music later this year and


Sonic GrenadeWebsite of the week:
AirDisaster.com is a site for anyone interested in aviation incedents. Far from a morbit site, it's handy for researching safety records of airlines.

Gadget of the week: Having the smallest Bluetooth headset wrapped around your ear is of no use if the sound quality is dodgy. The SM100 EarModule Bluetooth headset from Sound ID is smart enough to work dynamically by canceling out background noise when you're on the phone while amplifying it to prevent blocked hearing (the earplug effect) when you're waiting for the next call. When two SM100 owners meet, the One2One mode enables them to link up both headsets, acting as a two-way radio instead. Pretty good idea, if only Bluetooth's connection range wasn't so pitifully limited. The SM100 Bluetooth headset retails for $129.99.

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Episode 20/2007 - TX: May 14, 2007 (Ep 127)
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Foundation Study GuideThis week, our studio guest is Robert Broomhead representing the Wireless Institute of Australia. From their website, The Wireless Institute of Australia is the World's first and oldest National Radio Society, being founded in 1910. The Wireless Insititute of Australia is a member of the International Amateur Radio Union and represents all Amateur Radio Operators in Australia to the various government bodies in this country. With the implementation and roll out of new technologies such as broadband globally, just how has this institute of nearly 100 years and the hobby of experimenting with radio communications equipment held up? If your keen to get into Amateur Radio, then this manual is for you.

Last week we talked about the launch of Australia’s do not call register, well in the past week over half a million Australians have registered their phone number so as not to be harassed by telemarketers and like the honorable Senator Helen Coonan, I’d call this a good result for it’s first week, but more importantly, it raises the issue that Australian’s really value their privacy and they want to return to a time that when the phone rang, there were family, friends or colleagues on the other end – and rightly so.

Also this week in a move to counter piracy Warner Brothers will offer movie downloads online through ViDeOnnline Communications in Hong Kong, a key movie market where film piracy is rampant. As the internet gets faster one has to ask is this the start of things to come? Like the music market has embraced online sites where users can download a single song to a whole album, video is set to go the same way.

Right now, thanks to the video codec DIVX, a feature film can be compressed to as little as 700 Mb while maintaining DVD quality pictures. An ADSL 2 or even an uncapped ADSL1 subscriber can download a file like this in 20 minutes or less, and burn it to a CD or DVD. Most modern DVD players will play the divx file, which has an AVI extension without any problems whatsoever. Who’d want to own a Blockbuster or Video ezy these days?

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Icann looks at new domains
  • Adam Turner looks at the Telstra Spin
  • Australia’s Do Not Call register off to a good start
  • Microsoft out to lure students to their office product
  • Youtube yields to royal pressure and
  • Robert Broomhead director of the WIA joins the panel to talk to us about the state of amateur Radio in Australia


Website of the week:
Photobucket.com a great place to download royalty free art for your website or project, or share images with others

 

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Episode 19/2007 - TX: May 7, 2007 (Ep 126)
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donotcallThe past week has seen the launch of the Australian Governments attempt to save us from the intrusive often invasive telemarketer – but the rules associated with the new act seem to be full of exemptions. The whole idea of preventing unwanted phone calls as you sit down to dinner is just that – don’t call me. Maybe the initiatives name is ambiguous – maybe it should be called “do not call me unless you can think of a way around the rules register”.

Excuse my cynicism but I would have thought a Do Not Call register means just that. Apparently, if you’re involved with a political party, a religious group, a social research group, or any non commercial organization, the rules on the whole, do not apply. So why bother? Well it is an election year after all and it is a step in the right direction, but it just doesn’t go far enough when protecting the privacy of residents. So we’re back to square one, and the waters have now become quite muddy.

My advice, simply don’t answer the phone if it’s a private caller around dinner time. You could install the phone companies free answering service and let the caller talk to the hand, or better still, let your 2 or 3 year old embellish their communications skills by letting them answer the phone.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • What’s web 2 all about then?
  • Adam Turner heads to CeBIT – Australias leading technology expo
  • Telstra about to launch a new ad campaign attacking the Governments Broadband policy
  • Microsoft looses it MP3 battle with Alcatel-Lucent
  • Copyright laws and the online world just don’t gell and
  • 12 MBs per second broadband just wont cut it in the future


Website of the week:
Gethuman.com.au and bypass those annoying IVR's. Thes website tells you how. Thanks to Geoff Dudly for sending in this one. If you have one please tell us!

Sonic GrenadeGadget of the week: Jaycar's Sonic Grenade Pull the pin and lob it at your intended victims. After a 20 second delay, your Sonic Grenade will sound its annoying alarm continuously until you replace the pin. Very annoying. Probably the most annoying device in the world - wake recalcitrant teenagers, annoy parents or teachers, interrupt meetings etc. Three annoying pitch levels. Requires 3 x AAA batteries. Did we mention it's annoying? 125 mm high. Cost: $19.95

 

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Episode 18/2007 - TX: April 30, 2007 (Ep 125)
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ABCOne of the best things ever to rise from the rabble of media organisations in this country is the government funded Australian Broadcasting Commission.
The ABC or Aunty as it’s affectionately known to millions of viewers and listeners around the country, and now around the world, is truly a leader in providing Australian content in news, current affairs and entertainment to a level that no one else even comes remotely close to.

The ABC’s foray into the online world has also been an astounding success. In the past few years, Podcasting has become the choice of many who wish to listen to radio programs at a time convenient to them, not to mention broadening program availability in markets which weren’t previously available or even possible. The ABC has made available nearly every program in its vast repertoire available for download via MP3.

It’s also streaming several of it’s flagship stations such as 774 Melbourne 24 hours a day seven days a week, opening up a global opportunities and reaching a vast audience beyond it’s traditional on air service area. Now, the ABC is embracing Video on demand, an online service where one click delivers very watchable pictures over high speed broadband. The library of programs is vast, including programs like At the Movies, The Chaser’s War on everything, and even the New Inventors just to name a few.

It’s all available freely on line right now, which raises the question, how long can it remain free? Last week it was announced that the ABC is preparing to embrace a more commercial future, with the potential of ABC-owned, commercially funded websites. It was just a matter of time before something like this surfaced with the 95% government funded broadcaster. A business model with a subscription basis is certainly appealing to an organisation determined to maintain the high quality and high production standards it currently demonstrates.

It’s early days yet, but the question which needs to be asked is would you be prepared to pay to access online ABC content? Personally speaking I would be more than happy to contribute to the production costs of quality local productions, from Rage to Playschool and everything in between; - we need the ABC to provide a conduit for local production which does not fit the mold of commercial TV. Like them or loath them, the Chaser is a perfect example. Kath and Kim would never have seen the light of day, and they nearly didn’t, but the ABC gave them a go.

We need a broadcaster willing to give new program ideas a go, not to mention advertisement free broadcasting, so the thought of chipping in to fund as such, is quite palatable. It’s a topic destined for a lot of discussion in the next few months, including today’s edition of Tech Talk Radio

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • Microsoft looses its popularity crown to Google
  • Photoshop flaw discovered
  • The ABC looks to commercial arrangements to supplement its funding
  • Five years jail touted by Australian Authorities for ID theft
  • Telstra fires up $1.5b network and
  • If you can’t handle your first life, why not give a second life ago as Adam Turner shares his view from the couch.
 
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Episode 17/2007 - TX: April 23, 2007 (Ep 124)
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I was somewhat saddened to hear that Qantas has received the approval of the Australian Communications and Media Authority for a trial of GSM and GPRS services on a commercial aircraft. Is this the beginning of a new torture campaign being waged by the airline industry to unsuspecting travelers, or a new option for ticketing where you can pay a surcharge to be in a mobile phone free area within the aircraft? Instead of smoking or non smoking, the torment of the new era of aviation could be cell phone or no cell phone!

Qantas 767The approval is for a trial period of up to 12 months involving a single Boeing 767, and will be limited to domestic flights. Qantas will initially conduct a three-month trial and only enable email and SMS services. So now we’ll have the cacophony of stupid chirping sounds emanate from all parts of the aircraft as we try and catch a quick snooze whilst flying. The good news, if there s some, International roaming charges will be applied but I’m sure that won’t stop them.

In addition to mobile devices, laptops equipped with GPRS modems will be usable in-flight, but only for email. That’s port 25 and 110 by the sounds of it no port 80.

A voice trial may be conducted if the initial tests go well, but users will need deep pockets to cope with the high cost of international roaming.

A network control unit connects the onboard 1800MHz picocell to the ground-based network via a satellite link. And before you ask, the picocell will restrict mobile devices' power output to a level that will not cause interference with the plane's avionics.

Mobile access will be under the control of the cabin crew, who will be able to vary the service according to operational requirements. For example, they could block all communications while continuing to manage the power output of active devices.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

  • More on In-flight Mobile access
  • Joost update
  • The AAAS
  • Dell back flips on Windows XP
  • Telstra releases a new express mobile card for next G
  • Arrests over Wi-Fi 'piggy-backing'
  • Copyright laws tested on the web and
  • Adam Turner looks at Channel 10’s big brother and what you can see on mobile phones.

Also, a survey of the latest ways criminals use the web, get inside our personal computers and make use of our personal information. It even extends to mobile phones. As we download software, and use them to connect to the internet, the mobile phone has also become vulnerable.

Website of the week: Adobe.com

If your into Photoshop and the new updated range of products which Adobe have just released, have a look at their site.

Gadget of the week:

Odd Spot:

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Episode 16/2007 - TX: April 16, 2007 (Ep 123)
Pod

We welcome Adam Turner to the Tech Talk Radio studio. Adam was formerly Melbourne deputy editor of Next, the business IT section of The Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald.

Well just as the telephone revolutionized the way we communicate, the internet is certainly the next major communications revolution. Instead of old analogue voice technology, everything is now going digital – our voice, along with pictures, sound and data makes up streams of 1’s and 0’s which flow down fibre optic cables and copper wires. The network which carries this information is made up of millions, if not billions of switches, routers and servers and is broadly call the internet. Back when the new fan dangled telephone was all the rage, governments and institutions devised the roll out of this new highly sophisticate – revolutionary technology. Looking back on it now, from all appearances it went un-eventfully well.

In Australia, the then government body called the Post Master General’s office, was responsible for the roll out of the telephone. The PMG was the custodian of local telephonic communications with another Government organization called the OTC or the Overseas Telecommunications Corporation, picking up internationally where the PMG left off. The PMG became Telecom Australia in 1975 which was still a 100% government owned entity. 20 years later it changed its name again, this time to its international trading name Telstra. The OTC somehow became Optus and here we are today, our telecommunications is all but privatized, and shareholder returns seem more important than the nations ability to technically keep up with the rest of the world, and we seem to be eternally embroiled in a melee between Government, Regulators and telco's when it comes to the next, and possibly the most important revolution this century. It seems like kindergarten behavior at times, and would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

Some of the headlines in the past week include: 
The government back-pedals on the Broadband Guarantee
Telstra wants Optus back in court
Labor confident on fibre
New group is end of G9, claims Telstra and
Telco's plead to Coonan on FTTN

If nothing else, these headlines are indicative of the volatility of the current situation. And to make matters worse, we, the consumers, are inundated with so much information, some of which is true and accurate, and some which is purely scare mongering, that we’ve all become so apathetic that we’re beginning to loose interest. Just this week a new consortium of 11 ISP's called T4 launched a website called “Tell the truth Telstra” to counter some of what it calls Myths,  published on Telstra’s “Now we are talking” website.

So as consumers, who do we believe? Unless you have a thorough understanding of how this technology works, it really comes down to programs like this one, Tech Talk Radio, and passionate, dedicated journalists like Adam Turner who write articles for publication in the main stream media, to help us try and make sense of what’s really true and correct, and see the spin and myths for what they really are. The bad news… we’re at least 7 months away from a federal election, of which the issue of broadband is sure to become a major issue, but the good news,  Adam Turner joins the panel today to openly discuss the dilemmas that have currently cost Australia anywhere between $10 and 30 billion in recent years.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

Apple delays Leopard launch, PROFITS are down, and sales are up, as the digital music market holds promise for the future. TELSTRA says the formation of a new group of 11 internet service providers is a sign that the so-called (G9) has fallen apart and Google moves to attract developers.

Website of the week: 1001 Free fonts

If you creating a special fler or birthday invitation, this site is for you. As the mame implies, there are plenty of cool fonts to browse and download. Beware of the advertising banners - nothing is free really.

mixerGadget of the week: Home recording goes high tech

Hobbyists who love home recording will be thrilled to see the Alesis iMultiMix 8 USB Pro iPod Recorder. This neat looking 8-track is capable of recording directly to your iPod's hard drive, where you can listen to it at a later period.

Odd Spot: Tamil Tigers 'hijack' satellite

Australian IT reports TAMIL Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka have been illegally using a satellite of US giant Intelsat to beam their radio and television broadcasts overseas. "We have been actively pursuing avenues to terminate the illegal usage of our satellite," said Nick Mitsis, the spokesman for Intelsat, the world's largest provider of fixed satellite services. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), fighting for independence in Sri Lanka's northern and eastern regions, has been blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by the United States since 1997.

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Episode 15/2007 - TX: April 9, 2007 (Ep 123) Easter 2007
Pod

This is the Easter edition of Tech Talk Radio.
While the panel takes a long weekend this Easter, we thought we’d replay some of our more recent interviews with Eugene Kaspersky, from Kaspersky Labs in Moscow, the creator of Kaspersky Anti Virus products, and recap on Search Engine Optimisation with our chat to Sam Shetty and Justin Freeman from Australia’s Net Registry along with Adam Lasnik from Google US.

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Episode 14/2007 - TX: April 2, 2007 (Ep 122)
Pod

We continue our Search Engine Optimisation program with Adam Lasnik from Google

Adam Lasnik - Google US on Tech Talk RadioDid you know that Google changes its algorithm in a minor way at least every three months? Did you know that there's a major change every 6 to 9 months? SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is becoming paramount when building websites for business and pleasure.

This week, we'll hear from Adam Lasnik, Google’s Search Evangelist. (pictured left)

If you want to hear it from the highest authority on the planet, then be sure to tune in as our panelist on the ground in California, Lidija Davis as she spends some "quality time" with Adam.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

Foxtel pirates fined, Telstra's new $300m fibre obtic able to the states, 3G data wars hot up and Google's April fools joke.

Website of the week: Google's April Fools Joke

Google TiSP (BETA) is a fully functional, end-to-end system that provides in-home wireless access by connecting your commode-based TiSP wireless router to one of thousands of TiSP Access Nodes via fiber-optic cable strung through your local municipal sewage lines.

Gadget of the week: MP3 player accompanies rubber ducky

Bath time just got injected with a whole lot of fun with the floating JVC digital audio player. This unique musical device comes in the shape of a top and boasts radio functionality to keep your ears occupied even when you've run out of MP3 tunes. Features include an SD memory card slot to expand upon the 256MB internal memory. File formats supported include MP3, WMA, and WMA DRM. A quartet of AA batteries is capable of powering this floating MP3 player for approximately 15 hours. Rubber ducky just got a new bathtime companion

Odd Spot: The BBC has been criticised for filming its Easter Songs of Praise special in November, immediately after a Christmas service. Producers switched flowers and got the congregation to switch seats and ditch winter clothing. "It will give an air of unreality to the Easter program," lamented Jonathan Gledhill, the Bishop of Lichfield. - The Age

Audio Segments of note:
Interview with Adam Lasnik - Transcript
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Episode 13/2007 - TX: March 26, 2007 (Ep 122)
Pod

Google is the preferred search engine for Australians internet users. According to Hit wise in February 2007, it’s the first place to go for 86% of Australian users. In second place was yahoo.com with 4.2% and third was live.com with 3.7% of market share.

So why has Australia taken a shine to Google? Maybe it’s because of its simplistic user interface, something lost on the other search engines, or the additional features it offers making the user experience simple and intuitive.

If you have a website either for business or pleasure, chances are you want it to be found in search engines. Recently Dr Ron and I attended a SEO and SEM seminar in Melbourne held by Net Registry, one of Australia’s largest website hosting, and domain registration companies. Did you know that Google changes its search algorithm in a minor way every few months, with a major change every 6 odd months? This is why your website is not 'set and forget'.

Andrew and Sam - Net Registry If you write or publish anything online, we’ll give you an insight into how you can make your site or blog more user and search engine friendly, thanks to the help of Sam Shetty and Justen Freeman.

Also this week, can you tell the Federal election is coming? The campaigning by Howard and Rudd is in full swing even though we're still a good six months out. Last week, Kevin Rudd decided to dig into the future fund to finance the Labor Party’s broadband strategy.  Peter Costello came out on the defensive along with several of the Liberal party’s front benchers. So what now? There’s plenty of water to flow under the broadband bridge in the coming months,  but one things for sure, we, the consumers, will loose. While the rest of the world reaps the benefits of high speed broadband, Australia seems set to wallow in fraudband.

Due to the developments in the broadband last week, we've had to hold Adam Lasnic over one more week.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

Apple TV ships, Google plans software, not phone, ALP's broadband vision beats the Coalition's Blueprint, DVD, game ads get the all-clear, LG's TV freeze fix on wheels, and ICANN may offer domain registrants more privacy.


Website of the week:
Sitemap.org

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a Sitemap is an XML file that lists URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL (when it was last updated, how often it usually changes, and how important it is, relative to other URLs in the site) so that search engines can more intelligently crawl the site.

Gadget of the week: PS3

Odd Spot: As many countries around the world adjust their clocks to mark the beginning or end of daylight saving, one British newspaper has suggested we should ditch the idea - and make it GMT everywhere around the world. (ABC)

Greenwich Mean Time, taking its name from Greenwich in south-east London, is the local time in Britain during the winter and is used across the globe as the time of reference.

Audio Segments of note:
Hear Sam Shetty and Justen Freeman from Net Registry talk SEO - duration about 12 minutes
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Episode 12/2007 - TX: March 19, 2007 (Ep 121)
Pod

Privacy and censorship are just two concerns when it comes to life on the internet.

KeyboardThis week saw GOOGLE adopt new privacy measures to make it more difficult to connect online search requests with the people making them - a move it believes could prevent showdowns with the government over the often sensitive data. The search engine juggernaut has promised to wrap a cloak of anonymity around the vast amounts of information that it regularly collects about its millions of users around the world. If you’ve had any form of transaction with Google, then chances are, they’ll know more about you than they care to admit.

Google believes it can provide more assurances of privacy by removing key pieces of identifying information from its system every 18 to 24 months.

From privacy to sensorship, CHINA announced this week that it will tighten controls on blogs and webcasts in a response to new technologies that have allowed cyber citizens to avoid government censorship efforts. Following a call from President Hu Jintao in January to "purify" the internet, the ruling Communist Party will introduce new regulations targeting the growth areas of the net, blogs and webcasts.

The Chinese newsagency Xinhua reported advanced network technologies have been mounting new challenges to the government's ability to supervise the internet.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

THE Blu-ray disc association aims to replace the DVD storage format within three years
Hunt on eBay for tax dodgers
PS3 in SETI-style attack on disease
Packer backs TV, pushes broadband
And Cybersquatting complaints rise


Website of the week:

Gadget of the week: Cut and Paste without Formatting - Pure Text Download

Have you ever copied some text from a web page or a document and then wanted to paste it as simple text into another application without getting all the formatting from the original source? PureText makes this simple by adding a new Windows hot-key (default is WINDOWS+V) that allows you to paste text to any application without formatting.

After running PureText.exe, you will see a "PT" tray icon appear near the clock on your task bar.  You can click on this icon to remove formatting from the text that is currently on the clipboard.  You can right-click on the icon to display a menu with more options.

Odd Spot: Talking Urinals.

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Episode 11/2007 - TX: March 12, 2007 (Ep 120)
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It seems the threat of Trojans and virus’s is not going to go away any time soon, in fact, experts say it’s only going to get worse and the potential of a series security breach on the net is the only thing that will make the global lawmakers sit up and take notice. In most modern technologically progressive communities, the law is usually one step behind the crooks.

It’s rather unfortunate that this scenario is most likely going to take place sooner than later. Government agencies in Australia seem to have reasonable success when dealing with ISPs and hosting companies locally, but this is not the same when dealing overseas. This barrier needs to fall if our global community is going to minimize the risk to online users when it comes to identity theft. This is not as much of a problem to internet savvy users, but for those new to the wonders of the net, they need all the protection they can get.

Our very special guest today is Moscow based Eugene Kaspersky, the maker of Kaspersky anti virus and anti Trojan products. Eugene shares his thoughts on what we’ve got in store online in the coming months and years as well as how we can defend ourselves from online nasties.

Eugene KasperskyMeet Eugene Kaspersky - the founder of the company who makes some of the best computer protection software about. Kaspersky.

Eugene talks exclusively to Tech Talk Radio about the current state of play on the dark side.

"All we need is a global internet police force" he says.

Based in the Russian capital of Moscow, Eugene has built a company which has the reputation of being the maker of one of the best anti virus anti trojan and now anti spam software in the world.

Recently, Kaspersky Anti Virus 6 won the Virus Bulletin 100% award for effective protection of the new Windows Vista system. Eugene graduated from the Institute of Cryptology in 1997, an ex KGB institution.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

Lidija Davis joins us with the lowdown on the new VOIP fishing scams, or VISHING as it is know in the United States – a trend which will no doubt reach us here in Australia.

It’s all out war between the major suppliers of technology and governments, this week TELSTRA has warned that Communications Minister Helen Coonan and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission would face the "mother of all class actions" if a group of rival telecommunications companies were allowed to go ahead with plans for their own $3.6 billion high-speed broadband network. And THE European Union's consumer chief has hit out at Apple's bundling of its iPod music players and its iTunes online music store.


Website of the week:
The Australian Government Scamwatch site

The campaign portal for the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce. SCAMwatch is a site to help recognise, report and protect yourself from scams. Explore SCAMwatch to find out more about the Australasian Consumer Fraud Taskforce and the scams that target you or your small business. You can also take part in the Australian Institute of Criminology’s scam survey.

Gadget of the week: Star Trek Tricorder now a reality

Odd Spot: A Beijing court has ordered a Chinese television production company to pay $A327 damages to Chen Bing, who received more than 3000 nuisance messages after his mobile phone number was used by a villain in a police television drama. (the age)

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Episode 10/2007 - TX: March 5, 2007 (Ep 119)
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It’s been just over a month since the launch of Microsoft’s new flagship operating system Windows Vista, and as time passes, more and more of the strange ways of the Microsoft juggernaut are beginning to surface. This week, conspiracy theorists will be having a field day over the new copy protection system built in to the new operating system.

If Microsoft's track record with Zune is anything to go by then this debacle will no doubt anger many of us who aren’t in the least bit interested in becoming pirates on the high seas of DVD replication. This time, Microsoft seems to be future proofing itself in the distribution of high quality media. When you’re on 90% of the world’s computers, it’s blatantly obvious that you can influence other companies – this time movie houses and media companies, in how to distribute their content.

Let’s face it, the days of the video library are numbered and more and more of us are turning to online vendors for news and enter, and mainly because we all live busy lives and we want our news and movies delivered to us when we want it.

Another doosie to rear its head is Microsoft’s new policy to not allow purchasers of Vista Upgrade DVDs to do a clean install. Let’s face it; the preferred method of loading up a new operating system is what we call a clean install. That is, delete everything on your hard drive and start again. This way you won’t have rogue files on your system which may not be compatible with your new operating system. What is Microsoft thinking? If nothing else it’ll increase calls to their support line ten fold. But like everything in this field, there are work around, and this problem is no different, and we’ll tell you how later in the show.

This week on Tech Talk Radio

We open with a recap of last week's broadband show and some of our listeners comments.

Take a guess at what the top ten search phrases are on Google and I’ll bet you’ll be so far off the money you wont believe it. Today we reveal just what everyone’s been looking for on the worlds biggest and best search engine.

Smaller screens and shorter attention spans will change the way media groups make their content, MTV's Australian boss says as the music channel prepares to rev up its internet offering

TELSTRA will show up to four games of AFL live on mobile phones

Our guest today is Anton Vandermerwe. Anton will join the panel to discuss the latest communications gadgets with the traveler in mind. So just how seamless is traveling overseas with your mobile or PDA.

And Dr. Ron takes a look at the current state of play in the HD DVD and Bluray arena. The big questions – Have the manufacturers learnt anything from the mass rollout of new technology in the past? Are we going to see a repeat of the VHS and Beta fiasco of 70’s?


Website of the week:
edisposals.com - (contributed by James)

UK army surplus auction site! - click on "IT/Audio-Visual and Telecoms" - some interesting stuff for sale!  Buy anything from office furniture to surplus aircraft.

Gadget of the week: Locca your door

Odd Spot: A Chinese businessman has advertised on the internet for a stand-in mistress to be beaten up by his wife to vent her anger and to protect his real mistress. The successful candidate would be 35 and originally from north-eastern China. She would be paid $400 for every 10 minutes. (The Age)

 

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Episode 09/2007 - TX: Februay 26, 2007 (Ep 118)
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Telstra have let their PR bull terrier out of his cage again, and he's certainly got his hackles up.

Phil BurgesTelstra's Communications Chief Phil Burgess explained why high-speed broadband is crucial to Australia’s future. Dr. Burgess also highlighted the steps Telstra is taking to promote public discussion of broadband issues while there is still time to avoid the worst impacts of the broadband drought.

But the best news, they've jacked up the price of wireless broadband across the range of their products by $5 (except the most expensive one) Why?

See the webcast if you dare! Consumers beware! The price should be falling and the speed increasing - like it is everywhere else in the world!

Telstra spokesman Craig Middleton says, “This pricing reflects the fact that it’s the best product on the market for wireless broadband. If you want to travel first class - you’ll be prepared to pay more. If you want to travel on the bus with our competitors…” He denied that the price rises were related to capacity limitations on the network stating “Absolutely not, this is a premium product.”

There are several hundred service providers in the market of which very few have their own technology or hardware in exchanges - they simply resell the Telstra product - this equates to over 90% of the market.

Also This Week

Mark Diggins gives us another technological look into Next G
Microsoft hit with $1.5 billion patent verdict
Google Challenges office online
G9 still at Telstra's mercy and
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has launched a series of investigations into possible breaches of local anti-spamming laws following its successful prosecution of a Perth spammer last year.

Website of the week: Looking for any kind of information relating to DVDs or Video, Incompatability issues with media and equipment reviews? - Look no further than Videohelp

Gadget of the week: DSE Internet Radio

Odd Spot: England's West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers have put a webcam on maturing cheddar cheeses to let aficionados watch in real time the process of mould growth for a year. "It puts watching paint dry in the shade," a company spokeswoman admits. The site, www.cheddarvision.tv, boasts 85,000 visits already. (The Age)

 

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Episode 08/2007 - TX: Februay 19, 2007 (Ep 117)
Pod

2007 is an election year here in Australia with a federal poll scheduled towards late October or early November. Both major parties seem to have a difference of opinion when it comes to telecommunications and connectivity in Australia.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we currently have 20,757,869 people living in this country of which 6.65 Million are connected to the internet in one form or another. That’s just 32.1% of the total population. In a report release on Friday February 16 by the ABS, Wireless broadband technology seemed to be the big winner with 400% growth in just 18 months. So how does broadband and wireless compare? And what of the new wireless fad? Is Telstra’s next G and companies like unwired set to reap the spoils of their labor?

The ABS document can be downloaded here.


Also This Week

Telstra’s 14.4Mb upgrade to Next G and what does it mean to users,
False advertising is rife in the broadband marketplace,
A leading Australian retailer refuses to stock HD-DVD
The ACCC steps in to mediate between Telstra and Optus
Australia’s obsession with mobile technology
Apple’s new $200m development for Melbourne


Website of the week:
A great place for stock art - Stock Exchange

Gadget of the week: Japanese Electronic Dar Board

Odd Spot: Toilet humor finally hits main stream C3 Toilet Seat

Audio Segments of note:
Dr Rons DLL hell - duration about 7 minutes

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Episode 07/2007 - TX: Februay 12, 2007 (Ep 116)
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Digital rights management is back in the news again this week stirred up by Apple Boss Steve Jobs. In a speech to industry on February 6 he said some have called for Apple to “open” the digital rights management system that Apple uses to protect its music against theft, so that music purchased from iTunes can be played on digital devices purchased from other companies, and protected music purchased from other online music stores can play on iPod's. For listeners unsure what Digital Rights Management is, simply it’s an electronic system designed to stop people sharing files – in this case music - files between computers, iPod's. and the like. In what seems to be an unrelated announcement MUSIC label EMI said last Friday that it is planning to release a large portion of its music catalogue for sale by download, without technological protection against piracy. Coincidental? I’m sure the conspiracy theorists amongst you are slightly suspect of all this, so we thought it time to revisit one of our pet hates – Digital Rights Management.

We also talk to Lidija Davis, our Silicon Valley connection about the RSA 2007 conference in San Francisco last week, and if you've ever bitched about your anti virus software, wait till you hear this! Lid's recommendation - Kaspersky

Justin Dunlop joins the panel to tell us all about the new technological lineup from Apple. Vista spores yet another clone, this time we see the release of a Vista for mobile devices. Apple boss Steve Jobs urges the top 4 record companies to un protect their music. What’s in a password? Well plenty as we find out in a new study about weak passwords and Vista security found somewhat wanting...


Website of the week:
Australia's definitive broadband information site Broadband choice

Gadget of the week: Lexar's Jumpdrive Lightening

Odd Spot: It had to happen. A Web site set up to encourage anonymous leaks of controversial government secrets has been exposed before its launch. Wikileaks

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Episode 06/2007 - TX: Februay 5, 2007 (Ep 115)
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Well here we are – 2007 is finally here, along with the all new iPhone, iTV and Vista just to name a few. We could almost say Welcome to the all new Tech Talk Radio, but that would be misleading… we might sound a little different but that’s it. The regular team returns for another insightful year where we look into the evolution of technology that shapes our lives today.

Tim Westergren - PandoraA new study out this week details the habits of Australian Gamers, We take a look at Microsoft's new Operating system Vista, Macs new iPhone and iTV, We’ll tell you about one of the best new music services on the internet (Pandora.com) and chat to it’s creator Tim Westergren (pictured left) in San Francisco.

We catch up with all the goings on in Silicon valley with our correspondent in the heart of Palo Alto, Lidija Davis – and today we talk Google and search engines and why we should blog. Lidija wrote a piece on what search engines hate. It makes for an interesting read.

And we’ll also find out how Next G is going and what the competition is up to since the day Sol changed our lives.


Website of the week:
Google's Australia Day Page

Gadget of the week: Belkin Skype mobile phone

Audio Segments of note:
Pandora segment - duration 9 minutes
Entire uncut audio of interview with Tim Westergren from Pandora

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Episode 05/2007 - TX: January 29, 2007 (Ep 114)
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Dr Ron presents the best of Tech Talk Radio for 2006 in the Summer Series

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Episode 04/2007 - TX: January 22, 2007 (Ep 113)
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Dr Ron presents the best of Tech Talk Radio for 2006 in the Summer Series

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Episode 03/2007 - TX: January 15, 2007 (Ep 112)
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Dr Ron presents the best of Tech Talk Radio for 2006 in the Summer Series

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Episode 02/2007 - TX: January 8, 2007 (Ep 111)
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Dr Ron presents the best of Tech Talk Radio for 2006 in the Summer Series

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Episode 01/2007 - TX: January 1, 2007 (Ep 110)
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Dr Ron presents the best of Tech Talk Radio for 2006 in the Summer Series

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Episode 52/2006 - TX: December 25th, 2006 (Ep 109)
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Dr Ron presents the best of Tech Talk Radio for 2006 in the Summer Series

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Episode 51/2006 - TX: December 18th, 2006 (Ep 108)
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Dr Ron presents the best of Tech Talk Radio for 2006 in the Summer Series

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